Neeraj Chopra qualifies for javelin throw final at world athletics championships
India’s Neeraj Chopra qualified for the men’s javelin throw final at the World Athletics Championships, held in Eugene, Oregon, with an effort of 88.39m. The Olympic champion earned his spot in the final with his first throw in qualifying. Chopra was in Group A of qualifying and was the first pitcher, and the 24-year-old finished early for himself. He will now compete in the final, which will be held early Sunday morning (IST).
The automatic benchmark in the javelin throw for the World Championships final was 83.50m.
Chopra’s throw was the best in Group A and only Jakub Vadlejch, silver medalist at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, qualified in the group. The remaining positions will be decided after the players in Group B have completed their throws.
Chopra set a new national record of 89.94m, just 6cm short of the 90m mark, the world gold standard in javelin throwing, at the prestigious Diamond League in Stockholm last month en route to a silver medal. The 24-year-old is second behind Grenada’s Anderson Peters, who has the best throw of 90.31m.
“I’m 6cm short of the 90m mark, I’m pretty close. I hope to get over the 90m this year. But I never think or focus on distance when I’m in a competition. I just try my best. 100% dedication,” Chopra said in a recent virtual interaction from Eugene.
Chopra is cherishing extraordinary results this season. The star athlete has improved his personal record twice – he scored an 89.30m throw on June 14 at the Paavo Nurmi Olympics in Finland before delivering his spear to 89.94m last month.
In between, he won the javelin throw at the Kuortane Games in Finland with a long throw of 86.69m in wet and slippery conditions. With his current form, the Tokyo Olympic champion is expected to write history and become the second Indian and the first male Indian to win a medal at the World Athletics Championships.
“This is the biggest competition this year for me. I want to perform without any pressure. This is the biggest stage, the competition will be tough. There are 5-6 pitchers who are playing consistently. so the same level this year,” said Chopra. “But every day, every competition is different. I focus on only one thing – the bigger the better.”
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